“I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough,” says health secretary Sajid Javid at a news conference.
“This pandemic is not over. This disease, coronavirus, continues to carry risks for you and your family.
We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday, 19 July, to life as it was before Covid.”
LONDON — Despite the current surge in Covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to lift all pandemic-related restrictions on 19 July, what tabloids call “freedom day” but with a stringent appeal to public to continue wearing masks even if not compulsory.
The British government believes its successful vaccination program has weakened the link between cases and hospital admissions. The government now argues that there is no better time to end lockdown restrictions than in the summer when the virus tends to spread more slowly and schools take a vacation break, eliminating one source of transmission.
Still, the landmark once hailed boldly as “freedom day” by libertarian lawmakers is now being given much more cautious billing by the government as Britain records around 30,000 cases a day, a number that the health secretary, Sajid Javid, on Monday said could climb to 100,000 during the summer.
“Whether we like it or not, coronavirus is not going away,” Mr. Javid said in Parliament.
Mr. Johnson added that the government strongly recommended that people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces such as on public transportation.
The government plans to work with organizers of large indoor events to encourage the use of certification for those who have been vaccinated or recently tested. (MP/The MiNT)